As mandated by Section 21 of Student Opportunity Act (SOA), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Division of Local Services (DLS) at the Department of Revenue are examining the local contribution component of the Chapter 70 program. Section 21 requires DESE and DLS to submit a report to the General Court on "the equity, predictability and accuracy of the method of determining each municipality's ability to contribute toward education funding and the calculation of each municipality's required local contribution". We are seeking public comment on these topics.
The study will cover a range of issues outlined in Section 21 of the law, including how targets are set for required contributions, how Proposition 2 ½ interacts with those requirements, and how the cap at 82.5 percent of foundation impacts the distribution of required contributions across municipalities.
Given the current public health emergency, we will not be convening in-person public forums, but we are soliciting public comment on the issues outlined in Section 21. In order to do so, we ask that all comments be submitted through an online survey by October 16, 2020. We will review all comments, post the comments on this website, and respond to common themes raised in the comments in the final report.
For an overview of how required contributions are calculated and other aspects of the Chapter 70 program, please refer to the Chapter 70 white paper on the DESE website. While this report explains how Chapter 70 was calculated in FY2020, the local contribution calculation, also referred to as the aggregate wealth method, is the same as the methodology enacted through the SOA and has remained largely unchanged since it was first implemented in FY2007.
Public comments (email addresses suppressed)
Last Updated: November 30, 2020
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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